The old castle

Yeah, I'd say that worked out pretty well, despite some efforts. Rasheed took 20 shots and had 1 FTA, Hamilton took 16 shots and had 1 FTA. These numbers almost make what Jamison did the other night look good. Fortunately, Chauncey was around to throw up a 1.45 PPS on 20 shots. Well, the Pacers shot like grade schoolers, that helped too. I must say, that was brutal. As I've always said, Anthony Johnson can't shoot. J-O can't seem to shoot lately as well... yes, I know he's dinged, but this is pretty bad. Almost nobody on the team could shoot triples. As I look at the box score, I see that Stephen Jackson was 2-5 from behind the arc... which I find very odd, because I could've sworn I saw him miss about six or seven shots from the area. Maybe they were just 22 and 23 footers. As for the Pistons, it's not like they were hitting triples either. Rasheed still needs do as McDyess does and stick to fifteen feet and in. I'll discredit Hamilton's, because two of those were in the last two or three minutes. Maybe it's not so bad... not 3-19 bad, anyway. Something else that stood out on the box score that I didn't notice in the game was that Tinsley had 7 turnovers. Perhaps if Chauncey keeps having big games, he'll continue to be less effective. Also, the refs were pretty good this time. I guess it took the power of Steve Javie to straighten such a thing out.

Carnival #9 is up
Back where it started! For the third straight time, I make an appearance. Not only do I make an appearance, I get a nice compliment. As I'm fond of doing, the quote:

Another must-read newcomer is The Pistons (with now-appropriate color scheme!), which covers the defending champs' drive for the repeat. Not only that, but with daily posts he's tackling the entire league. Becoming an every-day read for me.

Nice to see that someone I read every day reads me every day as well. Thanks, Matt.

Some joker commented on my post that was mostly about game three and I have to laugh at him
As per standard, we break down with quotes. I realize I could've just responded in the comments spot, but then few people would've seen it. So, here we go:

I have always had a rule of thumb which is, in any major college or professional sport the refs will screw up enough so as to help a team win one game and lose another; therefore each team must be mature enough to overcome this hurdle.

See, I don't think it was a screwup. If I thought it was a screwup, I wouldn't have logged on and suggested something like "Artest's missing $5 million finds its way into refs' pockets".

Forget the refs and concentrate on scoring more than 80 points in a playoff game. If an NBA team's defense can keep the opponent to under 80 points, victory ought to be a lock.

Let's go back to last year's ECF between these two teams, shall we?

Game 1: Pacers 78, Pistons 74
Game 2: Pistons 72, Pacers 67
Game 3: Pistons 85, Pacers 78
Game 4: Pacers 83, Pistons 68
Game 5: Pistons 83, Pacers 65
Game 6: Pistons 69, Pacers 65

Three times that series, teams held their opponents under 80 (once under 70) and didn't get wins. You were saying?

If the Pistons can not score more than 80 points, they don't deserve to win the championship.

I guess the Pacers don't either, since they haven't topped that mark in the last two games. Also see above comments on last year's ECF.

I also call every loss the curse of Darko. The Pistons could have drafted Dwayne Wade or 'mello.

Yeah, not like they won a championship with Darko on the roster or anything. Also, I'm confused as to who those last two people are. I'm familiar with Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony, but not Dwayne Wade and 'mello. Side note, Bosh is better than Carmelo.

What's up with ABC?
While watching the pregame and halftime shows for the Piston game, I discovered a number of odd things that were said.

1. Let's start with the guy they call "Big Red". He was a fantastic player and is usually a decent commentator. However, he decided to put his stupid cap on for today's show. To start, he said that nobody on the Pacers would even start for the Pistons. When challenged about J-O, he said Rasheed was better than J-O. Uh... maybe slightly defensively, but J-O is much more talented on offense (even though he's not showing it this series). I have a hard time running with that one. Later on, Walton said that Amare was the best big man in basketball. What!? He's kicking ass this year and working very well in the system, but... Shaq? Duncan? Garnett? Come on now! There's no way Amare's better than those three. Following this, for the trifecta, Walton said that Seattle's big men needed to more than just dunk and shoot against San Antonio. Of course, I had to smirk and go look up some stats. Keep in mind, this was before game four of the series, so I'll leave that out. Also, I'll be counting their big men as Fortson, James, Evans, Collison and Potapenko. Their series totals in stats:

Fortson: 13 minutes, 2 boards
James: 48 minutes, 10 boards, 5 blocks
Evans: 76 minutes, 21 boards, 1 block
Collison: 42 minutes, 18 boards, 1 block
Potapenko: 16 minutes, 2 boards
Totals: 195 minutes, 62 boards, 7 blocks
Per 36 minutes: 11.45 boards, 1.3 blocks

So as a collective unit, per person and not counting the dunks and fouls, they average 11.45 boards and 1.3 blocks per 36 minutes. I'd say that's more than just dunking and fouling, wouldn't you?

2. Next, Tirico. Normally I don't mind the guy, he's usually a decent talker. But, today, to start, he asked the group if Miami needed Shaq to get past round three. This isn't just the Piston fan in me, this is the NBA fan in me... what!? They may have swept a pair of teams that can't defend, but they're going to be running into Detroit next round. Without Shaq, they're going down in five at the most... provided the Pistons don't score 29 points against them in a first half or something. As if that wasn't bad enough, Tirico later went on to refer to Indianapolis as "Basketball City, USA". I'm sorry, when was the last time they won title? Oh, right, 1981... in college. Okay, when was the last time they won a pro title then? Oh, right, 1973... in the ABA. Sorry, you can't be Basketball City, USA if you haven't won an NBA title or won any title in the last twenty years.

3. Finally, Ahmad. He only committed one offense, but it was a big one. During a pretaped interview with Chauncey, he went about various questions until he got to a brutal one. He asked Chauncey why Chauncey is referred to as "Mister Big Shot". Let's break the nickname down word by word. Mister, referring to the fact that Chauncey is in fact male. Big, referring to that Chauncey often does large things. Shot, as in field goal attempt, often made. So Chauncey is a male that takes large shots that are often made. What exactly is so hard to understand about this? Ahmad must have a hard time understanding, otherwise he wouldn't have asked why Chauncey was called that? I mean, is it so hard to figure that he's called "Mister Big Shot" because... he hits big shots? Jeez! I don't remember what Chauncey's response was, but I bet he was being ridiculously polite when he said it.

Sonics even series
Heh, I guess they'll make it to six after all. The causes of death here are pretty obvious, them being that the Sonics shot 8.3% better from the field and had 8 fewer turnovers. What's even more intriguing is that the Sonics pulled off those feats sans Rashard Lewis. This meant that, as seen in the box score, Damien Wilkins had to play 32 minutes and the point guards had to start together. If I was told this would happen before the game, I would've said "well, 3-1 Spurs". Instead, you get that trio combining for a reasonable PPS of 1.23 on 44 shots and combining for 9 steals. Not bad! Also, Danny Fortson continued his hilarious statlines with 13 minutes and 4 fouls. Not as hilarious as in the previous three games, but funny nonetheless. JJ didn't do much, but it didn't matter, apparently.

Jeez, I thought I was tired an hour ago. I guess not. Also, Courtside should be launching shortly, take a look.


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